Should Teen Murder Suspect Be Tried As A Juvenile or Adult? - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Should Venango County Teen Murder Suspect Be Tried As A Juvenile or Adult?

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More on the Venango county teenager, charged with murdering his grandparents.
Should a 13 year old, charged with a heinous crime, be charged as an adult or juvenile?
We sat down with Erie's district attorney to take a closer look at the justice system.
 
We also spoke with Proper's family attorney, who says one of the first things to do is request the case be moved to juvenile court.

Pictures from his Facebook page depict 13 year old Zach Proper as your typical teenager. Snapping pictures of himself, and hanging out with friends.
But he's the same kid, who police say earlier this week used a handgun to shoot his grandmother in the back, then waited for his grandfather to return home, then shot and killed him as well.
It happened at the victims' home in Sandycreek Township.
Proper is being charged as an adult, behind bars in the Venango county adult prison.
His lawyer will eventually request his case be moved to juvenile court.
But according to DA Jack Daneri, the defense will have to present a number of factors, to make that happen.

"At that hearing it would be up to the attorney for that juvenile to convince the court that somehow the individual will not be a danger to society past their 21st birthday, which is as long as juvenile can hold him. That there are reasons for the murder that go well beyond what the police might have listed in the complaint." Said Daneri.

 Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court struck down automatic life sentences for juvenile offenders, even convicted murderers. But as Daneri explains, Proper could still get life in prison, whether he's charged as a juvenile or an adult.
"If his case remains in adult court and if he were convicted of first or second degree murder he can still be sentenced to life without parole. The only change that the supreme court made was that before it sentences a juvenile to life without parole it has to take into consideration a number of factors, it's not automatic anymore. He can still impose that sentence, yes." Said Daneri.

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